Take a hiatus from the mundane city life and point the RV toward West Virginia. Bluestone State Park is located in the southern region of West Virginia, roughly five miles south of the city of Hinton. There are a plethora of activities in and around the park, from boating and fishing to golf and snow sports. The park is located by Bluestone Lake, the third-largest body of water in West Virginia, providing ample room for exploration and adventure. The lake was created by damming the Bluestone National Scenic River. When you take your rig to Bluestone State Park or rent one from nearby, you'll find plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Some of the trails, such as the Riverview Trail, provide scenic opportunities with lake views and waterfalls during certain seasons. You can also experience a variety of wildlife on the trails, such as white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. On the Rhododendron Trail, you'll have the opportunity to see the state flower, the rhododendron. You'll find plenty of places to camp at Bluestone State Park. There are numerous cabins for rent that are fully furnished. Also, the park has four separate campgrounds, including the East Shore Campground, which is only reachable by boat. The sites allow for a variety of camping options, including RV and tent camping.
Bluestone State Park is located 88 miles southeast of Charleston, West Virginia, via I-64 and I-77. Some of the routes will require drivers to take toll roads, so prepare yourself ahead of time by understanding how the tolls work in West Virginia. Bluestone State Park is approximately eight miles from the town of Hinton, and near another popular West Virginia State Park, Pipestem State Park.
When you arrive, you'll want to check-in and get directions to your campsite, as there are four different campgrounds in the park. No more than two motor vehicles are allowed at each campsite, and only one camping unit is permitted per site. Some RVers will want to bring a boat to the park to cruise the Bluestone River and Bluestone Lake. Park your boat at any of the public boat launch areas or a boat-trailer parking lot.
At Bluestone State Park, the Old Mill Campground allows camping with RVs, trailers, and tents. The area maintains 44 rustic campsites without water or electrical hookups. There is a central bathhouse that can be used in this campground. As noted with the other campgrounds, a maximum of two motor vehicles are allowed at each campsite. Campers can stay for a maximum of 14 days. Reservations are accepted at this campground between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Meador Campground is one of four campgrounds at Bluestone State Park. This area has 32 sites, which are open to RVs and tent camping. Seven of the sites offer electrical and water hookups, while electrical-only hookups are only available at 15 of the sites. There is a bathhouse available in this campground. The campsite is open for reservations between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Two motor vehicles are allowed at each campsite, and you can reserve a stay for up to 14 days. Generators are permitted, but not during quiet hours.
The Old Mill Campground is a first-come, first-served campground from mid-April to Memorial Day and then again from Labor Day until the end of October. Campers have the option of staying in one of the 44 rustic campsites. If you suspect the timeframe that you want to visit might be busier than usual, arrive early to secure your camping spot.
While this campground takes reservation during the bulk of the season, it becomes first-come, first-served from mid-April until Memorial Day and after Labor Day and through October 31st.
The East Shore Campground is only accessible by boat, so there isn't an option to drive to your site, so you'll have to either bring your own boat or rent one from the Bluestone Marina to camp here. There are 39 primitive sites available at this campground for tent camping. As with Bluestone State Park's other campgrounds, this campground accepts reservations between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It is first-come, first-served from when the campground opens in April until Memorial Day in May. The campground reverts to first-come, first-served after Labor Day until the campgrounds close again at the end of October.
At this campground, reservations are accepted between Memorial Day and Labor Day. After the reservation window closes, the campground becomes first-come, first-served facility between mid-April and Memorial Day and again from Labor Day until October 31st, when the park closes its campgrounds for the season.
At Bluestone State Park, there is a Tent Area Campground. This site does not allow RVs and is instead designed for tent camping only. It contains just five rustic sites and is designed to support larger group camping. As with the other campgrounds, no more than two motor vehicles are allowed at each site. In addition, you can stay for up to 14 days. This campground takes reservations between the Memorial Day weekend and the Labor Day holiday.
If you're looking for a more glamorous camping experience, consider renting one of Bluestone State Park's cabins. Twenty-six cottages are available for rent on a wooded mountainside offering stunning views of the Bluestone Lake below. The cabins can accommodate up to eight people, and some are pet-friendly. Cabin rentals include access to some of Pipestem State Park's facilities, including the indoor pool and sauna. The cabins come with top-notch facilities, including water and electric, a kitchen, and a stone fireplace, and they come fully furnished with towels, linen, cooking utensils, and dishes. Cabins are available are year-round and can be reserved in advance.
You'll find plenty of opportunities for picnicking throughout the year at Bluestone State Park, although the fall presents the most vivid picnicking scenery. Each of the cabins has cookout amenities, including a grill and picnic tables. At the four campgrounds located around the park, you'll also find room to enjoy a family picnic. When hiking, be sure to pack a meal or snacks and enjoy scenic overlooks, such as waterfalls and lakes. If you're lucky, you'll get to see some of the native wildlife while you're picnicking.
Take a break from the pop-up camper and explore the park on your own two feet. Bluestone State Park has over eight miles of trails that you can enjoy throughout the year. They range in difficulty, from the easy Riverview Trail to the more cumbersome Big Pine Trail for experienced hikers. While on these trails, you'll be able to partake in a variety of sights, from the Bluestone River and New River to fauna such as wild turkeys. You'll also be able to enjoy native flora, such as the rhododendron.
You can enjoy the 2,040-acre lake by towing your own boat behind the campervan or renting one from the Bluestone Marina. At the marina, you will find abundant trailer parking for your boat. Multiple public boat launches access the Bluestone River and Bluestone Lake. Experience the lake with your own kayak or rent a canoe, kayak, pontoon boat, or fishing boat. The different waterways at Bluestone State Park support water recreation, which makes this park a must-visit for people who love to cruise lakes and rivers.
If you're in this part of West Virginia during the winter months, you are in for a treat. Once the snow sticks, the area becomes a winter wonderland for winter sports enthusiasts. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are available at a local ski resort, located just under 25 miles from the park. More options for those who love to play in the snow include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. If you don't want to lug your own equipment along with you in the RV, there are rentals at the nearby Pipestem State Park.
During the summer season, there are a variety of activities happening at Bluestone State Park. The programs are a perfect way to get out of the camper and stretch your legs, and they are also a great way for the whole family to do something enjoyable together. The park's staff leads many of the activities, and they focus on nature and recreation. If you aren't interested in ranger-led activities, why not rent equipment from the park's office? For a small fee, park guests may rent sporting equipment such as croquet, volleyball, or horseshoes. Before your trip, you can check with the park office to see what fun events might be taking place while you're visiting the park.
Bluestone State Park has an outdoor swimming pool for campground guests and day visitors. The pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Wednesdays through Sundays. There are seasonal closures, as well as days during the summer where the pool is closed, so you should check with the park before coming if you're interested in swimming. If you are staying in the cabins rather than the campground, you can also enjoy the indoor pool facilities at Pipestem State Park.
Don't forget to pack the fishing gear in the Airstream because Bluestone State Park is a fishing oasis for anglers from all around. Here you can enjoy a wide variety of fishing options. Fishing is available not just in the lake, but also on the Bluestone National Scenic River. You can fish from the banks or via the comfort of your boat. If you didn't haul your own boat to the park, rentals are available at the marina. There are fish to reel in, such as bluegill or bass. A valid West Virginia fishing license is required to fish in the lake, and you can get this before your trip by ordering a permit online.
Bluestone State Park is the perfect place to take the whole family for a summer vacation. After you park the rig and finish setting up camp, the real fun can begin. If the kids tire quickly from the old deck of cards that you have stowed away in the camper, head to the park office and ask about equipment rental. During the summer, the park has a wide variety of resources available, including croquet, shuffleboard, horseshoes, basketballs, and volleyballs and nets. If that's not enough to keep everyone busy, ask about the weekly family-friendly nature and recreation activities hosted by the park naturalist.